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How to outrank websites that have more backlinks than your website

If you want to get high rankings on Google, it is necessary that many other websites link to your website. This is something that most webmasters know. What many webmasters still don't know is that a website that has only a few inbound links can outrank a website that has many inbound links.

Why many backlinks alone are not enough

If a website has a high number of inbound links, it does not automatically rank highly for any keyword.

Google specifies the position of a website in its search results by on-page factors and off-page factors. On-page factors are all factors that can be found on your web pages:

Did you optimize the web page for the targeted keyword?
Can search engines find all pages of your website through the links on your website?
Is the HTML code of your web pages error free so that search engine spiders can easily parse your pages?
Does your robots.txt file allow search engine spiders to visit your web pages?
Are your web pages free of all spam elements (no hidden text, no sneaky redirects, no keyword stuffing, cloaking, etc.?
Off-page factors are the factors that cannot be found on your web pages:

How many websites link to your site?
Are these links from related high quality pages?
Do social bookmark websites link to your site?
Do the links to your website include the keywords for which you want to be ranked highly?
All of these factors are important if you want to get high rankings on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

How to meet Google's requirements

If you want to get high rankings for a special keyword, you must optimize one of your web pages for that keyword. If one of your web pages has been optimized for a keyword, then Google will return it in the search results.

Unfortunately, there are many websites that target the same keywords as your website. If more than one website has been optimized for a keyword then Google will list the web pages with the best inbound links in the top 10 results.

For example, if 20 websites have been optimized for the keyword "green widgets" then the website that has the most inbound links that use the text "green widgets" as the link text will get the best position on Google.

If your website meets all on-page requirements and has the right kind of links (which does not mean that it must have the most links) then Google will list your website on the first result page.

There are many ranking elements that influence the position of your website in Google's search results. The more elements meet Google's requirements, the more likely it is that your website will be listed on Google's first result page.

To get an overview over all factors that are relevant to the position of your website in Google, analyze your website with IBP's top 10 optimizer. The optimizer will show you in detail, which elements of your web page you have to change and it will tell you how to change your web pages exactly so that your website will be listed on Google's first result page.

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July 2009 search engine articles